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The 1820 Settler Correspondence
 as preserved in the National Archives, Kew
 and edited by Sue Mackay

Additonal Information

This is pre 1820 information mainly taken from actual images of UK parish registers and other primary sources which I have personally researched. Further information about the settlers and their families once they reached the Cape can be found at

Sue Mackay

COLLETT, James Lydford - Extra Data


(member of Charles CAMPBELL's Party)


No baptism has been found for James but his autobiographical notes published by Joan COLLETT in "A Time to Plant" say that he was born in Stroudwater, Gloucestershire on 14 February 1800. There is no village of Stroudwater as such, but the Stroudwater was another name for the River Frome, which flows through Stroud, and in 1779 the Stroudwater Navigation canal was opened to link Stroud to the River Severn. James was most likely born somewhere near this canal.


Birmingham Library


William COLLETT of this parish, bachelor, and Martha LYDFORD of this parish, widow, were married by banns on 24 February 1802 in St.Martin's, Birmingham

Both signed

Witnesses: Mary BIDDLE (X) and William TAYLOR

This marriage took place two years after the supposed birth of James. Either James was illegitimate, or he was the child of Martha's first marriage and later adopted by William COLLETT.


National Archives, Kew, London


RG4/1805 Independent Meeting House, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Feb 15th 1803 was baptised Joseph son of William COLLETT and Martha his wife.


Martha COLLETT died in Burford, Oxfordshire in 1837. Her death was just in time for the start of civil registration, and is registered December qtr 1837 in Witney. Her age was given as 69, which would make her born in 1768.


Possible baptism and first marriage for Martha (supported by the name CHANCELLOR twice being used as a middle name for descendants in South Africa)


Somerset Archives and Local Studies


Martha daughter of James and Ann CHANCELLOR baptised 8 May 1768 in East Harptree, Somerset


[James CHANCELLOR became the parish clerk of Croscombe, Somerset, where further children were baptised]


James CHANCELLOR Clerk of this parish upwards of 21 years buried 8 March 1799 in Croscombe, Somerset, aged 60


Thomas LYDFORD of the parish of Nunney in the County of Somerset, bachelor,  and Martha CHANCELLOR of this parish, spinster, were married by Licence on the 27th July 1788 in Croscombe, Somerset

Both signed

Witnesses: Rob't LYDFORD and James CHANCELLOR


Rob't LYDFORD son of Thomas and Martha born 1 July 1790 baptised 3rd  January 1791 in Croscombe [buried 24th September 1797 aged 7 years and 2 months]

Jno. ChancellorLYDFORD son of Thomas and Martha born 8th Feb 1792 baptised 12th Feb 1792 in Croscombe

James son of Thomas and Martha born 1st Oct 1794 baptised 5 October 1794  [buried 9th September 1798 aged 3 years 11 months]


If Martha was grieving the loss of her son James in 1798 and her father James CHANCELLOR in 1799 it would explain why she called her next son James, born in 1800.






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